Taking up a petition filed by Adesh University, Bathinda, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday refused to pass any interim order to stay the Punjab government’s June 16 decision to bar the university from conducting independent counselling for its 250 medical seats - MBBS (150) and BDS (100) - for the 2014-15 session on June 17 and 18.
When the petition came up for hearing before the vacation court headed by justice Naresh Kumar Sanghi, he made it clear that before passing any order, it was mandatory to hear the state government. After issuing a notice of motion to the state government for filing its reply, the court posted the case for the next hearing on June 23.
Taking note of the Hindustan Times news, ‘At Rs 40 lakh per MBBS seat, Adesh varsity charges 20-fold’ (June 11), the state government had on June 16 ordered the university to send its clarification regarding charging of Rs 40 lakh per MBBS seat, which is 20 times the fees fixed by the government. The university was also stopped from conducting the independent counselling that was ordered to be done by Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot, centrally for all medical institutes. BFUHS will start counselling on Saturday (June 21).
Hindustan Times had highlighted that as per state government rules, students should be charged Rs 2.2 lakh as first-year tuition fee at the time of admission and the total five-year course fee should be Rs 13.42 lakh.
However, the university, in its petition, has mentioned, “this news item was intentionally and with an ulterior motive published by some vested interest to stop the transparent admission procedure…”
Now, the university has also sought directions from the court to the Punjab government not to interfere in its functioning under the Adesh University Act, 2012. It was submitted that “the university is a totally autonomous university and not receiving any aid from the state government.”
Therefore, it is not bound by any directions of the state government, read the petition.
Varsity alleges harassment
It was alleged that the state government passed the order “only on the basis of the news item without affording an opportunity of hearing whatsoever to the petitioner university.” Though, the court was informed, the university had sent its reply to the state government on June 17 and requested for withdrawal of cancellation of counselling, which had not been done till now.
The court was also informed that the state government’s June 16 order’s “intimation was given on June 17 when the admission process was on, only to harass and humiliate the petitioner university.”